AFL Update: Week 2

Two weeks in the desert can dry up a maple tree, even in the quasi-mild temperatures of October. The leaves of the Western Maple need the rich moisture of rain and natural waters to survive days at a time in an otherwise dehydrated climate.

Try telling that to Anaheim Angels shortstop Brandon Wood, whose maple-made bat is as hot as the weather in Arizona gets in July. The Halos second round pick in 2003 has blasted nine home runs in 10 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions, including four in a single game early in week two. Wood's slugging percentage sits at 1.024 as week three gets under way today.

Yankees slugger Eric Duncan is hitting .429 with five home runs after a disappointing 2005 campaign. Duncan, a third baseman for the Grand Canyon Rafters, was rumored to be involved in numerous trades this past summer, and his resurgence this fall could heighten his value if the Bombers choose to fill holes with their farm system – and we know they will.

Washington infielder BRendan Harris leads the AFL in hitting at .542. Harris has 13 hits in 24 at-bats for the Peoria Saguaros, to go along with a .917 slugging percentage.

Diamondbacks 2004 first rounder Stephen Drew has put up a .438/.538/.938 line in eight games, including four home runs and a 7-7 K/BB ratio.

On the mound, Scottsdale's Scott Mathieson leads the league in strikeouts and innings pitched, whiffing 22 in 11.1 frames. Mathieson a 21-year-old right-hander in the Phillies prganization, has walked just four batters in three starts.

Former top Cubs' prospect Angel Guzman has struggled in two starts thus far, allowing 12 hits in 7.2 innings. Guzman is returning from shoulder surgery and has consistency issues, but has fanned nine versus just two walks.

Orioles lefty Adam Loewen has made his way back from elbow surgery with seven scoreless innings in two starts. Loewen was Baltimore's top pitching prospect before Tommy Surgery claimed much of his 2004 season.

Seattle Mariners

RHP Clint Nageotte
0-1, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 0 BB, 3 K, 2.57 ERA
Nageotte made his second AFL start this week, allowing five hits and two earned runs in four innings, the longest stint of his 2005 season after suffering a forearm injury last spring. The 6-foot-3 right-hander seems to be in the midst of completing his transformation from being a power pitcher who aggressively goes after the strikeout to an economical

CF Adam Jones
9 G, .143/.200/.286, 2-3B, 2 RBI, 4 R, 2 BB, 6 K
Jones has scuffled at the dish, needless to say, but observers do like the progress he's made in center field. After making two errors in week one, Jones has rounded out his game nicely and seems to be catching onto to his new position. The 20-year-old has two outfield assists already, including a laser beam that cut a runner at third base and a relay play to the plate to shoot down another.

C Jeff Clement
.381/.519/.619, HR, 2-2B, 4 RBI, 6 BB, 4 K
Clement is being Clement. The dude can hit. We get it, already. His defense is getting some extra work in, too, even though there are four catchers on the Javelina roster. The 22-year-old ranks 12th in hitting, 3rd in on-base percentage, and 2nd in walks.

RHP Chris Buglovsky
0-1, 4.1 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 2 K, 27.00 ERA
RHP Mike Flannery
0-0, 4.2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K, 3.86 ERA
OF Gary Harris
8 G, .333/.364/.429, 2-2B, SB, 0 BB, 4 K

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